Primary Key Primer for SQL Server

Every database developer uses keys, but without always understanding all the ramifications. They come with few hard and fast rules, but if you get them right from the start with a database design, the whole process of database development is simpler, and the result is likely to perform better. We asked Phil for advice, little knowing that the explanation might take a while.… Read more

Window Functions in SQL Server

When SQL Server introduced Window Functions in SQL Server 2005, it was done in a rather tentative way, with only a handful of functions being introduced. This was frustrating, as they remove the last excuse for cursor-based operations by providing aggregations over a partition of the result set, and imposing an ordered sequence over a partition. Now, with SQL Server 2012, we are soon to enjoy a full range of Window Functions. They are going to make for some much simpler SQL queries.… Read more

Resource Governor

If you suffer from runaway queries, if you have several database applications with unpredictable fluctuation in workload, or if you need to ensure that workloads get the memory or CPU they need according to certain priorities, then you need Resource Governer, and you need Roy Ernest's clear explanation of the technology.… Read more

SSMS Tools Pack 2.0

If you work with SSMS, you'll know how frustrating it can be when tasks you perform every day aren't part of the core features. Mladen Prajdic certainly did, which is why he developed his free SSMS Tools Pack. Now on its second version, Grant Fritchey explains the functionality of this great free plugin.… Read more

Going Beyond the Relational Model with Data

SQL is a powerful tool for querying data, and for aggregating it. However, you can't easily use it to draw inferences, to make predictions, or to tease out subtle correlations. To provide ever more sophisticated inferences to businesses, the race is on to combine the power of the relational model with advanced statistical packages. Both IBM and PostGres are ready with solutions. And SQL Server? Hmm...… Read more

Database Properties Health Check

Within an instance of SQL Server, the database settings can have a direct effect on the database's behavior, performance and availability. Sometimes, it is difficult to tie a symptom to a cause, so it is wise to routinely check and record these settings. Before you change the current setting, it pays to understand exactly what it means and the implications of any change.… Read more

Statistics on Ascending Columns

It comes as rather a shock to find out that one of the commonest circumstances in an OLTP database, an ascending primary key with most querying on the latest records, can throw the judgement of the Query Optimiser to the extent that perfomance nose-dives. Fabiano once again puts on snorkel and goggles to explore the murky depths of execution plans to find out why. … Read more

XML Configuration files in SQL Server Integration Services

Package configuration files are a great way of providing the values of SSIS package properties so that packages can be used in a far more versatile way. They make the deployment of SSIS packages easier and can provide parameters that are based on the server configuration, or which change for each runtime. They're easy to understand, especially when explained by Rob Sheldon.… Read more

Agile Techniques for developing SQL Source Control

In this interview, Stephanie Herr, Development Manager for SQL Tools at Red Gate, talks about the recent SQL Source Control development project. As a certified Scrum Master, Stephanie was keen to use Agile techniques throughout the development process, and she explains how the team maximized user feedback and ensured that customers got what they wanted, as quickly as possible.… Read more

Adding the Script Task to Your SSIS Packages

Script tasks are a great way of extending SSIS functionality, when the buit-in functionality isn't quite Script tasks are a great way of extending SSIS functionality, when none of the buit-in components are quite right for the task you need to perform. But how to go about creating a script task? No worries, once again Robert Sheldon is on hand to provide easy instructions on how to do it.… Read more

CLR Performance Testing

Are Common Language Runtime routines in SQL Server faster or slower than the equivalent TSQL code? How would you go about testing the relative performance objectively? Solomon Rutzky creates a test framework to try to answer the question and comes up with some surprising results that you can check for yourselves, and offers some good advice.… Read more